Veewon Thokchom arrest

Manipur Police Saturday confirmed that former president of Manipur Student’s Association Delhi (MSAD) Veewon Thokchom, who was arrested by a joint team of Manipur and Delhi police Friday, has been charged with sedition among others.

Thokchom, who is currently the advisor of MSAD, was arrested from his rental home at Saket in Delhi, and has been given transit remand to Manipur police for four days by Saket court, officials said. However, the police are awaiting permission to take Thokchom to Imphal.

K. Meghchandra, Superintendent of Police Imphal East district, during a press conference on Saturday told the media that the district police lodged an FIR under 124A IPC (sedition) against the student leader last Tuesday.

The FIR was lodged following a formal complaint received from the Superintendent of Police CID (Crime Branch) intimating to take necessary action against Thokchom, based on a report submitted by the cyber crime police station Manipur, he said.

Accordingly, police conducted a raid at his Lamlai residence, which falls under the jurisdiction of Imphal East district police, the same day. But, Thokchom was not found at his residence, said the Imphal East SP.

He said, on February 14, a team of Imphal East police was dispatched to Delhi and after assistance from Delhi police raided the rental home of Thokchom on Friday evening.

“During the raid, police found that Thokchom was not alone. He was with some of his associates who resisted the police team”, he said.

The SP revealed that, as a preliminary investigation, the police team established that deliberate planning was made by Thokchom and his associates to spread hatred, incites violence during the height of the agitation against Citizenship Amendment Bill in Manipur.

“In one of the messages, he urged people to intensify agitation, burn properties and even confront political parties during a curfew in Imphal. Besides that, he has also mentioned in one of his posts that right to self-determination was the only solution”, said the SP.

In addition to sedition, police have lodged section 153A, 225 IPC for resisting arrest and promoting disharmony, he said. The role of his associates presently is not fully established as the investigation is pending, the SP added.

The SP appealed to public not to use social media as a platform for spreading hatred, inciting violence and anti-national activities. “One should use the social media sensibly. There are certain limits for freedom of expression. One should not cross that”, he said.

The clarification from the Police comes amid condemnation from several civil bodies including the North East Student Organisation (NESO) demanding his immediate release.

The NESO in a statement urged the Government to stop gagging the dissent voices of students.

It said that the fascist-like nature of BJP government with its autocratic rule will not be tolerated as it is a big threat to democracy.

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